Last night's fireside featured talks from senior linebacker Coleby Clawson and senior running back Manase Tonga.
Coleby centered his talk around one of his ancestors, Moses Clawson. After discovering Moses' handwritten autobiography in the Special Collections area of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, Coleby has learned valuable lessons on discipleship. Moses was baptized into the Church in 1835 after getting an original copy of the Book of Mormon.
After joining the Church he wrote, "Persecution raged immediatley with unrefuted anger."
"Being a disciple has never been easy," said Coleby. "There are always things to throw us off the path."
He went on to relate how Moses crossed the plains and eventually settled parts of southern Utah. While experiencing many trials, he never lost his faith or dedication to the Gospel.
"We all have weakness and trials," said Coleby. "But if you ask yourself, 'Do you believe these things,' you'll be able to overcome some of those weaknesses."
He ended his talk expressing gratitude for his father's great example of discipleship.
"I'll always remember those acts of love and service," he said. "I've learned a lot through the examples of others."
The musical number that followed featured four wide receivers, McKay Jacobson, BJ Peterson, Brett Thompson and Spencer Hafoka. They sang the hymn "Ye Elders of Israel".
Following the musical number Manase opened his talk by expressing his appreciation for the team firesides. He was present in 2005 when Bronco Mendenhall held the team's first fireside in Albuquerque. BYU has held a fireside before every game since then.
After being removed from the football program for 16 months following the 2007 season due to academic reasons, Manase returned this past August. He told of an experience he had with Mendenhall upon his return.
"I went to see him in his office and the first question he asked me was, 'What got you in that situation in the first place,'" recalled Manase. "I couldn't pinpoint an exact moment, but I did know that it started with one bad decision."
He said that while he was gone from BYU he kept in close contact with his position coach, Lance Reynolds.
"He would always tell me something that LaVell Edwards always said, 'The most important things in life are options,'" recalled Manase. "Options come by way of making good decisions. If you chose to make bad decisions, like quicksand, you'll slowly begin to sink."
Manase closed by sharing a poem entitled "I'd Rather See a Sermon" by Edgar Guest.
I'd rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example's always clear;
And the best of all preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it
if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.